Tolvaddon firefighters rescue calf from Wheal Rose mineshaft

Firefighters from Tolvaddon Community Fire Station had an unusual call out yesterday (Tuesday) to rescue a calf – from a mine shaft. The calf, Blizzard, had managed to get through the fence surrounding the shaft at Fir Tree Farm in Wheal Rose and fallen onto a ledge around 35 foot down.

The mine shaft was surrounded by fencing. Picture: Anneka Kenyon Owner of the four month old calf, Anneka Kenyon said: “We’ve kept livestock here for 12 or 13 years and we’ve never had an animal go down there before.

“We threw a stone down years ago to test how deep it was and waited for ages to hear it hit the bottom. “The shaft is fenced round. I went to check the cattle in the morning and when I got there there was a cow stood by the fence and I just knew.

Tolvaddon firefighters rescue calf from Wheal Rose mineshaft The event drew quite an audience from the neighbours. Picture: Anneka Kenyon

“There was no gap in the fence, we still don’t know how she got in! “I climbed over and it was slippy, I thought: ‘don’t fall in’! “I looked down into the shaft and, thankfully, could see her on the ledge.

She was on her feet! “She had had the good sense to stay on the ledge because if she’d have gone over to the other side it goes down probably about another 150 metres or more. “My first thought was, ‘right, I need to get some rope on the tractor’.

My husband said: “no, this is a fire brigade job”. Tolvaddon firefighters rescue calf from Wheal Rose mineshaft The calf was rescued using the fire station’s bi-pod and animal rescue line.

Picture: Anneka Kenyon “The crew that came out were amazing. They were so confident and positive.

It was so much equipment, it looked like they were camping out for a week! Some neighbours came down who had obviously seen the commotion.

“The firefighters kept making cow jokes like ‘she just took it on the hoof’ and ‘I’m just going to moove it along’, which was just the worst! “With everything going on in the world it’s nice to have some faith in humanity restored.

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“Within about ten minutes of getting out she was back on her feet. When she saw her mum, up she got and she was drinking. Now she’s fine.

Tolvaddon firefighters rescue calf from Wheal Rose mineshaft Blizzard re-united with her mother. Picture: Anneka Kenyon

“I spent until the sun went down last night fencing it all. Not even a giraffe would get in now.” Tolvaddon Community Fire Station watch manager Jordan Snook said: “The owner called us yesterday at 9:50 am.

“We got there just after 10 and assessed the mine shaft. We took three vehicles, the animal rescue vehicle, the 4 x 4 offroad vehicle and a normal fire engine. “A total of 12 staff attended the incident, made up of full time and on-call colleagues.”

The calf was rescued using the fire station’s bi-pod and animal rescue line. Firefighter Sandy Gourley also went down into the shaft, taking an animal rescue harness and the animal rescue line. A local vet also attended.

Jordan added: “We were able to sedate the calf, and once it was sedated it was put into the animal rescue harness and bought back up using the animal rescue line and a system of pulleys.

“The whole rescue took about three hours from start to finish.

It was quite tight narrow access onto the farm so we had to transport the equipment using the offroad pick up truck.”

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